Sarah Small was born in 1979 into a family of musicians. When she was 13, she fell in love with photography at summer arts camp within a few days of kissing her camp crush in the darkroom. Fueled by her constant curiosities and fascination with entangling herself in human drama, Sarah spent her high-school years wandering the streets of her hometown of Washington, D.C., always equipped with her Pentax K1000. And luckily, when home, she also had her cooperative and impossibly freckled redheaded sister, Rachel, with whom to endlessly practice her craft.
Sarah was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating in 2001, she moved to Brooklyn New York, and has since engaged in an ongoing pursuit to find and photograph enchanting people, animals, and candy colors. Sarah’s work explores the unlikely interactions born when dissociated characters are brought together into the same space.
Sarah has taught darkroom photography to both high-school students and adults and recently finished teaching her first semester of Portrait Photography at the Parsons School of Design. Since 1997, she has taken a diaristic Polaroid of herself every day. She plans to pursue this project for life.
Small’s work has appeared in publications including Vogue, Life, and The New York Times. Her images have been exhibited in the U.S. and internationally, in such venues as Caprice Horn Gallery, The Corcoran Gallery, and The Australian Center for Photography. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, and was recently named by American Photo as one of the “ Top 13 Emerging Photographers” working today.
When not photographing, Sarah sings and arranges vocal scores with her Balkan a Cappella quartet, Black Sea Hotel.
« The Delirium Constructions is an ongoing body of work exploring disassociated themes and characters brought together into the same space. I bring models into improbable, close interactions to examine the social and graphic contrasts of youth and experience, hysteria and discipline, tragedy and hilarity, and sexuality and desexualization.
These scenarios are staged, but the emotions that result are born through improvisation, spontaneously captured and authentically experienced. Like an optical illusion, where the viewer shifts between opposing visual perceptions, these images reference emotional illusion, a rocking back and forth between projection and introspection, between darkness and hilarity. » Sarah Small.